It seems that the more I’m adding to my novel-in-progress, the more terrified I’m growing over how much of my life it reveals.
I decided some time ago that this work would be purposeful in inspiring other people, in leading people to Christ. It must be real, then, if it were to have any chance at fulfilling such a lofty mission. Not a smooth, feel-good ride, but reflective of real lives, its characters being real people with all their complexities and all their demons, their perceptions and emotions and responses to situations warped by their convoluted backgrounds and dysfunctional relationships.
Now how much more real could I get than to draw from a life that I know best–my own? Consequently however, I’m not sure if I’ll even actually have the courage to publish this novel, ever, knowing full well that people would recognize certain elements and possibly end up: (a) being privy to so much more than I could stand to have them see; or (b) forgetting that the work is still fiction–with bits and pieces of my life merely serving as jump-off points–and judging me and the people around me that they think the characters represent.
The scariest part of it is leaving the real people in my life vulnerable to all kinds of pain and damage.
Maybe I’ll wait a couple of decades before publishing this.